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Some of the farmland where Covell Village is slated to go. The revised Covell Village site plan (photo © City of Davis).
In July of 2004, the city council voted to approve the Covell Village development proposal, to annex a ~400 acre plot north of Covell Blvd., between Pole Line Road and F Street, into the City and rezone it from agricultural land into residential and commercial sites. The development planned to add 1884 living units to Davis in phases through 2017 or later.
The development required a Measure J vote by the community as the land was outside the Davis city limits. Measure J requires a citizen vote on any project that requires annexation of agricultural land into the City. The baseline could not change without another vote by the people. However, changes outside of the scope of the baseline may occur without a vote, with approval from the City of Davis Planning Department or City Council. The Covell Village measure was called Measure X, it failed to pass with "No" 58.7% and 41.3% "Yes."
Supporters of Covell Village say that the project will meet some of the growth that Davis is required to meet in slow, planned, environmentally-friendly manner. The project was developed over 10 years, hand-in-hand with the City of Davis. The partners and planners are respected long-time Davis locals, including Citizens of the year. It is innovatively designed to avoid the kind of sprawl we've seen in the valley due to bad planning. The project is surrounded by the City of Davis on 3 sides (see last page of the following booklet for an aerial photo http://www.covellvillage.com/factsheets/Booklet.pdf)
Covell Village is in line with Davis culture, and it adds a tremendous amount to the community. The Davis Enterprise has endorsed the project, saying"amenities are so valuable and so wide-ranging that we believe Covell Village will have a profoundly positive impact on our community's quality of life." Amenities of the proposed plan include solar panels on every home, a retail center, a new fire station, an 82-acre educational organic farm, a community recreation building, a performing arts outdoor amphitheater and sites for the school district, a Rotary Hall, Yolo Hospice, Davis Parent Nursery School, and 124 acre wetland wildlife habitat, 8 miles of bikepaths, and a 776 acre farmland buffer that can never be developed. In addition, 48% of the housing units will have a price restriction. The Enterprise editorial states "Covell Village comes as close as we believe possible to providing the kind of workforce housing our community has been clamoring for. The mix of housing types and sizes offers opportunities for all: singles, couples, young families, growing families, empty-nesters, retirees, the elderly."
Community leaders believe that this project will acheive worldwide acclaim for its new-urbanist plan and its environmental aspects. They also warn that this may be the last time a project of this immense value is offered to the city. One observer asked, "Who in their right mind would try to go through this process, considering the millions of dollars necessary, if Davis votes such a great project down?" Instead, out-of-town developers will surely bypass the City and go straight to the County, which can approve a project on our borders with 3 votes. Helen Thompson, Yolo County Supervisor for Davis, warns of this possibility. Sacramento developer Steve Gidaro, who has a history of illegally funding elections, has been pushing for an 800-acre development called Mace-Curve that jets out of the outskirts of Davis, and is truely "sprawl". (Get more information on Steve Gidaro at http://www.gidaroelectionwatch.org/)
CovellVillage.com — Pro-Covell Village site.
Sierra Club information about Covell Village
Citizens for Responsible Planning — Opposition to Measure X Site
Covell Village is not another Village Homes; it is neither slow growth nor smart growth. Six times larger and twice as dense as Village Homes, Covell Village would be a massive concentration of very big, expensive homes on tiny lots. If approved by voters in November, it would be the largest subdivision ever built in Davis, consisting of 1,864 units on over 420 acres of prime farmland, almost half of which is in the 100-year floodplain.
In approving the project for the November ballot, the Council majority disregarded the concerns of its advisory commissions. The Finance and Budget, Planning, and Open Space Commissions could not support the project. In making its decision, the Council ignored key environmental findings and contradictions in the fiscal analysis that identified serious financial risks for the city, a failure to provide promised affordable housing, and traffic and other infrastructure impacts.
The Commissions studied the analyses. The contrast between their advice and the Council’s push to develop is troubling—and underscores the Council’s failure to respect the citizens’ vision for Davis.
Covell Village would cost the City money. The Finance and Budget Commission rejected the project, citing the “magnitude of the risk that this project poses to the City Council’s goal of fiscal stability.” Because Covell Village would require annexation, the City would get 30% less property tax than if it developed parcels within the city limits like Hunt -Wesson. Recently, the County has made it clear it wants an even greater share of the project’s property tax, and won’t approve the annexation unless the new arrangement is to its liking. Each 1% increase in the County’s share will cost the City an extra $3 million annually—making Covell Village an even greater tax burden.
In addition, the City’s fiscal analysis assumes home prices will double over the next 15 years. If housing prices level off or decline as many economists predict, Covell Village would generate huge deficits for the City.
Finally, the impact fees charged to the developers do not address infrastructure needs likely to be triggered by Covell Village, such as the widening of roads or that the subdivision would contribute significantly to the premature exhaustion of the capacity of our wastewater treatment plant. Public Works has stated that expansion of the plant would cost at least $100 million over and above water quality improvement costs.
Prices and build-out schedule from City's fiscal analysis.
The developers’ illusory promise of affordable housing is equally disturbing. The original rationale for Covell Village was to provide “workforce” housing for our teachers, firefighters, new UCD faculty and staff, Davis renters wishing to buy—and our children. Instead, housing will be largely unaffordable to these and similar target groups. Although the developers claim that 2/3 of the subdivision will be affordable, city projections indicate the average for-sale house will cost $683,945.
The City’s analysis indicates that “middle-income” families (those making less than $96,000 a year) cannot afford housing costing more than $387,000. Yet 92% of the for-sale houses in the subdivision will cost more than $400,000. The least expensive single-family detached house will cost $538,000.
In other words, of the 1,294 for-sale units proposed only 99 are affordable, according to City criteria. This means only 10 affordable for-sale units per year, primarily townhouses, versus 120 upper-end units constructed annually.
Traffic, safety and health
The negative impacts of Covell Village go well beyond dollar calculations; according to the City’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR), we will all be spending a lot more time in traffic. The subdivision will double traffic on Covell to 39,440 cars /day and on Pole Line to 26,900 cars/day, and use up 97% of the capacity on the Mace Overcrossing. The analysis finds that Level of Service “F” results, triggering “high delays, high volumes and extensive queuing” on many streets and intersections including L Street, Moore and the Pole Line Overcrossing to South Davis. According to the EIR, “Conditions are intolerable for most drivers,” with traffic backing up on neighborhood streets, causing all the associated safety and pollution issues for children, seniors and those with respiratory conditions.
In addition, Woodland is building the 4,000 unit Spring Lake subdivision, just 5 minutes north on Pole Line Road. Spring Lake by itself will have a serious negative impact on traffic along Pole Line and Covell.
Opposition to the Covell Village subdivision does not equate with a “no change” or “no growth” philosophy. Covell Village is not inevitable; we have alternatives.
Proponents want us to believe that if we don’t approve the project, we will get something worse. However, in Davis voters have the final say on any Council approved peripheral projects. As for the County approving development on its own without our input, the fear is unfounded—for two reasons. First, under the terms of a recently revised agreement with the County, City approval is required for development on our borders; for this veto power we give the County a share of our property tax revenue. This “pass-through” agreement runs for another 20 years. Withdrawing from the agreement would cost the County millions in guaranteed revenues.
Second, to be feasible, urban-scale development in the County would require use of the City’s sewer system, wastewater treatment facility, and other city utilities—we would have to agree.
Instead of Covell Village, Davis can choose change on a more manageable scale—change that will allow us to augment our diversity by building truly affordable housing without undermining city finances and services or our quality of life. The 100-acre site of the old Hunt-Wesson Cannery and the 27-acre PG&E site at 5th and L are prime candidates for redevelopment. The PG&E site, for example, is within walking distance of the downtown and the S.P. Depot.
Rather than respect the legacy created by citizens and councils over the last three decades and reflected in our General Plan—of Davis as a small, safe, neighborhood-oriented community—this Council majority has chosen sprawl instead.
By saying “no” to a large peripheral subdivision at this time, voters will be affirming the Davis they love and envision. They will be reminding the Council of the value of sustainable city financing, affordable housing, farmland preservation, and sensible traffic and infrastructure planning.
Pro Argument vs. Con Argument
Threat of future development
A letter from Helen Thompson, Davis's Yolo County Supervisor, warns that if Davis does not meet the growth requirements from the State, 3 votes from the County Board of Supervisors could approve a development on our borders. Currently, a development this is much larger than Covell Village has been proposed, that would jet out on the border of Davis, called Mace Curve. In this case, the citizens of Davis would not be able to vote on its future, and would give up all of the additional benefits and innovative planning that Covell Village would bring to the city. Helen claims that a "no on X" vote would allow "Sacramento developers to decide how Davis grows."
Contrary to Helen Thompson’s assertion, if Covell Village is not approved, other developments will not built on our borders. This is a myth and simply untrue. Measure J prohibits peripheral growth without a vote of the public. Additionally, the "Pass through Agreement" between Yolo County and the City of Davis prevents this scenario. In summary the agreement states that Yolo County has agreed not to unilaterally approve growth on the borders of Davis. The County can choose to vote to void the agreement and give up the million plus it receives from the City. However, no subdivision can be built without the City of Davis' cooperation to provide utilities and city services such as sewage treatment and water. Davis can refuse to allow access to city water and sewer services, which the County cannot afford to provide alone. In addition, three Yolo County Supervisors have given their assurances that they will not vote for development on the fringes of Davis.
10/30/2005 - Yolo County Supervisors, Duane Chamberlain and Mariko Yamada ran a full page ad in the Davis Enterprise. In an open letter to Davis citizens, they assured the Davis Community the senario that Helen Thompson describes is unlikely. The County cannot afford to forfeit the millions of dollars that the City pays to the County per the "Pass Through Agreement", Guidaro's project has received a "Level C" ranking and has been halted and won't even be considered for years, and the longstanding commitment and track record that Yolo County Supervisors for farmland preservation. They went on to urge citizens to vote "based on facts, not fear.
Covell Village partners, Guidaro and other developers can always try to go to the County for approval of their projects on the edge of Davis over the protests of the Davis community. They need three votes in their favor along with the Counties commitment to provide utilities and public safety services. The City needs to support its representatives (Helen Thompson & Mariko Yamada) to stave off these threats and hold the line. Most likely other Supervisors will not want a precident set that will affect planning issues for their own regions and cities. Eventually, these developments may happen and will be the subject of much debate when the City develops its General Plan for the years after 2010 and the County completes its General Plan update. Each of these steps will take years (Go to www.yolocounty.org Board Agendas and Minutes for April 5 and 26, 2005 to see for yourself.)
The passthrough agreement is money that the City of Davis pays the county on a yearly basis, basically to bribe them not to approve another Sacramento-type project on our borders — BUT an out of town developer can easily offer the county double, triple, or more. If Davis is considered to be too elitest to accept a great plan with an extremely slow rate of grown (less than 1%), the county will be much more likely to take the better offer. In addition, there is an election for new Board of Supervisors next year; nobody can guarantee that future Supervisors whose own communitites are taking all the growth won't vote for Davis to take a bit of its share. The Covell Village land will probably be sold to an out of town developer if this does not pass. A project as special as Covell Village will never be offered to Davis again.
The pass-through agreement between the County and the City is not a bribe. I think that Council members and County Supervisors who created the agreement would find this statement defametory. Covell Village, Guidero and others can offer double, triple or more, but then these would be a true bribes, wouldn't it? If this is truely an issue, don't you know that with the next County Supervisor election the citizens will be questioning candidates closely about their committment to preserving ag land in Yolo County and allowing cities to choose their own destiny in terms of growth. Davis has been a slow-growth community for many decades. This is nothing new.
According to solar-energy expert Tobin Booth, Covell Village will generate at least twice as much solar electricity as any solar neighborhood in the nation existing today, doubling the previous record for solar-powered homes.There will be a minimum one-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on every single-family home in Covell Village to provide electric power to residents. Power generated by photovoltaic panels will supply each single-family home with an average of 30% of the electricity it requires. Homeowners will have the option of adding more photovoltaic panels to their home, so the percentage will be higher than 30% in some cases; owners of affordable units will be able to add additional panels that won't count against the home price limits. The total solar energy production at Covell Village will be at least 2.04 million kilowatt hours annually. Every year, it would take 4,278,000 pounds of coal to produce that much power. The most expensive part about solar is the infrastructure- something built in to the housing development. People wanting more solar would just need to add panels.
The proposed solar units are only a fraction of the average-sized units already in Davis and are not to be included on commercial or apartments. Advocates for solar power, such as Covell Village is slated to have, ignore the price of solar panels, solar panel replacement schedules, and the effect on property values that the liens associated with the panels may have.
Davis has one of the country's leading affordable housing programs. Covell Village meets and exceeds these requirements. 286 - Multi-Family, 64 - CO-OPs, 43 - Non-profit apartments, 63 - Mutual housing, 144 - Town House residences starting at $198,000 (average $267,000), 30 - Co-housing residences., (average price $395,000), 400 Middle Income Residences - Tier 1 - 100 starting at $325,000 (average price $341,000), Tier 2 - 100 starting at $377,000 (average price $404,000), Tier 3 - 100 starting at $426,000 (average price $463,000), Tier 4 - 100 starting at $506,000 (average price $591,000)
Covell Village meets all smart growth principles. o Mixed use o Design discourages automobile use and promotes walking, cycling o Community design encourages more physical activity, community socialization thus overall better health. o Distinct and aesthetic design, manifests a desired sense of place and purpose o Preservation of open space and agricultural land as well as wildlife habitat o Provides a variety of transportation choices o Usability and aesthetics are mutually compatible
Opponents note that the new homes would be priced prohibitively high and that the local infrastructure would be unable to support the rapid development plan.
Maximum amount a “middle income” family can afford to pay for a house: $387,000.
Percent of for-sale homes in Covell Village that cost less than $387,000: 8%.
Average price of a for-sale home: $680,000.
Percent of all project housing “affordable” to families that make $109,000 a year: 38%.
Note: Figures mix current median income numbers with a 10-year + projected cost. These statistics assume that median income will NOT go up at the same time that home prices increase the maximum allowed of 5% a year.
The City posts different expected prices for houses in different places. A chart of costs is here:
But much higher numbers were used to determine how much revenue the project would generate — see page 7 of the fiscal analysis:
According to the fiscal analysis, if house prices in Covell Village are not at least twice as high as current 2005 levels by the end of the project, the City will lose money.
The City's middle income housing report suggests that a "middle-income" family can afford no more than $387,000 for a home.
There are no Level F intersections considering the cumulative effects of Davis and Woodland. At build-out, 12 years from now in 2017, Covell Village will put only 1 more car on the road citywide for every 15 now and Pole Line Rd. and Covell Blvd., 2 more cars for every 8 now. This does not approach gridlock.
Response: Here are the directly quoted facts from the actual Covell Village EIR Report: http://www.cityofdavis.org/covell/pdfs/eir/appendix_A.pdf GRADE F ROADWAYS AT COVELL VILLAGE COMPLETION: • Covell Boulevard, F Street to J Street • Covell Boulevard, J Street to L Street • Covell Boulevard, L Street to Pole Line Road • Pole Line Road, north of Covell Boulevard • Pole Line Road, I-80 Overcrossing • Pole Line Road, Loyola to Eighth Street • Pole Line Road, Covell Boulevard to Loyola Drive
Traffic count for Covell and Pole Line is currently: 19,700, it will grow to 39,440. (According to the EIR - Page 17 of the above Link)
The above stats about 1 more car are simply false.
Level “F” Traffic
Traffic will double on Pole Line and Covell
We are not collecting nearly enough money to pay for the costs of new traffic impacts
Increase in traffic accidents: 1040.
Increase in traffic injuries: 560.
Cost to Davis taxpayers: $15 million.
Covell Village will pay for all of its own infrastructure. In addition it will provide a $4.2 Million Fire Station, donate $470,000 for fire trucks and a police vehicle, donate $12.1 million for city public safety operating costs, donate $2.75 million for city community center building, acquire and donate Nugget Fields to the City, donate 776 acres of agricultural easements to the City. Provide $24 million in development fees and construction taxes for citywide projects. 60 Million from Covell Village contributions and taxes will go to the school district for new school facilities
Covell Village has no flood threat. As with much of Davis, when the streets and lots are graded and the natural habitat ponds and natural corridor are built, the drainage condition no longer exists. This is clearly stated in both the EIR and development agreement.
Paul Navazio, City of Davis Finance Director said, "Covell Village will produce a positive cash flow on the avg. of $464,388 per year. In addition, the libraries will receive $90,000 a year."
Instead of 15.33%, the city will get 17.48% of all Covell Village property taxes. According to City Councilmember Don Saylor, the City can expect to see a residual of about $3.6 million over 15 years. The agreement also requires the Covell Village partners to donate up to $500,000 of matching funds for the South Davis Library, a 7,000 square foot site for a mental health group home in the Village Center, and a Village Center site to Davis Community Television, suitable for the construction of a two-story, 10,000 square foot Media Center. Measure X also guarantees that the Covell Village partners will purchase the district-owned parcel of land in Wildhorse, Nugget Soccer Fields, for $4.2 million, and then donate the fields to the City for permanent recreational use. Under the agreement, sports groups will continue to take care of field maintenance. The school district projects that new revenues from Community Facilities Districts will total $59,286,000.
Measure X guarantees that the Covell Village partners will donate to the school district $1 million and ten acres of land, in a prime location. The development will fully mitigate all school impacts. At the present time, the school district is anticipating that the site may be needed for a Davis High School satellite campus.
Projected enrollment at High School if Covell Village passes: 2,590
Increase in high school overcrowding directly caused by CV: 300 students
Extra property taxes and fundraisers needed from Davis residents to cover these costs: $73 million.
Amount contributed by developers to pay for teachers, books, and other operating costs: $0.
"$60 million for schools" is clearly designed to give the impression the developers are making a gift to the schools. In truth, the money would come from taxes levied on Covell Village homes. Not one dime is for existing students, teachers or programs.
The old Hunt-Wesson site cannot be developed without Covell Village to solve access and drainage problems. PG&E has not shown interest in developing their site on L St. and the site does not have the capacity to provide more than two years housing supply. The 500-acre Mace Gateway project proposed by Steve Gidaro whether built in the County or the City, does not reach the standards of design set by Covell Village. Gidaro's project plus all the other development sites around Davis are not infill.
Sierra club said The Environmental Council of Sacramento called project “Sprawl” Not True "The Environmental Council of Sacramento" (ECOS) sent a letter to the Davis Enterprise stating that the Sierra Club's accusations were “Unfounded.” The country's leading New Urbanist Andreas Duany said, " The Covell Village plan is as good as it gets." Head of SACOG Mike McKeever said, "Covell Village meets SACOG's goals for smart growth." Covell Village meets the Sierra Clubs own smart growth guidelines.
The Sierra Club (both local and regional chapters) opposes Covell Village because it is "too big and it violates environmentally-friendly development guidelines." The Management Committee of the Sierra Club Yolano Group has voted to oppose the Covell Village proposal. In the past months the Yolano Group has hosted four publicly announced meetings to solicit input from membership and the community. There was overwhelming opposition to the project among members of the public who attended the meetings. After considering public input and relevant documents, the Management Committee determined that Covell Village would impose too many adverse impacts on our community and the environment. In approving the project, the City Council disregarded the recommendations of six of its commissions, including the Planning Commission and the Finance and Budget Commissions, which studied the issues and could not support the proposal. The Council ignored key environmental findings and serious financial risks for the city. City documents also show that the project would fail to provide promised affordable housing while generating serious traffic impacts and infrastructure and operational costs.
Trader Joes has inked an agreement with Covell Village. If measure X passes, a Trader Joes will be built, probably across the street from Nugget. See Davis Enterprise http://davisenterprise.com/articles/2005/10/07/news/086new1.txt,
Trader Joes was already in negotions with two locations in Davis. Alhambra Center at Mace & Alhambra which has not yet been approved and with the Interland/South Davis Center which has been approved and is nearing construction. To state that the only way Davis will get a Trader Joe's is to approve CV is simply false.
Important Note: The City commissions did not disapprove Covell Village they all stated they needed more time to review the project.
The City of Davis Planning Commission did not vote to endorse the development due to concerns about over-burdening the city's water system and waste water treatment plant. The City of Davis Finance and Budget Commission voted against the development due to strong concerns about "financial risk" to the City budget.
Will Covell Village overburden our sewage system? No. According to City Engineer Pat Fitzsimmons, Davis' wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to accommodate Covell Village. Fitzsimmons estimates that even after Covell Village is completely occupied, the plant will still have capacity for the wastewater generated by an additional 8,000 people.
"The long and short of it is there is the capacity for Covell Village and there is capacity for the General Plan build-out, and then some," said Fitzsimmons. Davis' plant capacity is 7.5 million gallons per day, and today the city generates 6.25 million gallons per day. Covell Village will add only .46 million gallons per day upon completion, leaving capacity for .79 million gallons per day.
The Jagged Tree will be saved and located in a park within Covell Village. If you look at the map of Covell Village the jagged tree will remain in it's same location and a circular park will be built around it just north of the town center. Many other oak trees on the site will be saved as well.
Other Con - Arguments
People have claimed that there could never be a better project proposed. Please look at the contributions made to the city of Livermore by a a development called Livermore Trails: http://livermoretrails.com/about_livermoretrails_questions.htm It dwarfs the bonuses that Covell Village is offering.
Mike Corbett is not a financial partner in Covell Village. He is an employee hired in a planning capacity. The Covell Village investors are building Covell Village. However well meaning his intentions, the actually implementation of the subdivisions features ultimately rest with the full partners of Covell Village Company not Mike Corbett. There is no assurance that Covell Village will look like Village Homes if Mike Corbett is involved. In addition to Village Homes Mike Corbett helped plan a few other neighborhoods in Davis. These neighborhoods look nothing like Village Homes. The "buck stops" with a handful of Covell Village investors not Mr. Corbett. Davis voters should beware that Covell Village represents another compromise on the original Village Homes concept.
Bad for the Environment
Costs due to higher pollution-induced respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses and deaths: $60 million.
Prime agricultural land paved over: 422 acres.
Fraction of land in 100-year flood plain: nearly half.
Number of environmental groups in favor of the project: 0
Increase in property crimes: 3250.
Increase in violent crimes: 500.
Cost to Davis Taxpayers: $28 million.
The Sierra Club (both local and regional chapters) opposes Covell Village because it is "too big and it violates environmentally-friendly development guidelines."
The conversion of the farmland to residential at this specific site is special in that it involves paving over some of the most productive soils in the nation. The Yolo and Brentwood soils are ranked as class 1 in the Land Capability Class system for irrigated agriculture. These soils are highly regarded by land users for an ideal high water holding capacity, nutrient supply, and good tilth. The soils map illustrates the areal extent of class one soils (red polygons) at the proposed location of Covell Village. While not nearly as productive, the other soils within the proposed development may be of interest to any potential home gardeners, as they can have high salt levels and clay pans at depth (See map symbols Pb and Rg).
Sierra Club information about Covell Village
Citizens for Responsible Planning — Anti-Covell Village organization.
Covell Village/Talk - A discussion about improving this page
Pro-Covell Village FAQ - There is no Con-Covell Village FAQ
Measure X - Passage required for Covell Village to happen
Predict the Measure X Vote - Show off by winning the Challenge!
The Jagged Tree - lore
Trader Joe's - Covell Village and Trader Joe's
A discussion about the content of this page can be found on the talk page.
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2005-06-08 19:23:59 homes in davis are overpriced as it is. —RohiniJasavala
2005-06-09 20:30:44 You'd think that a college town would be proposing housing affordable to college students. For some reason, this isn't the case. —ChristopherMckenzie
Maybe they don't want to encourage an increase in college students. I don't know if this is really the case with Davis, but often in college towns the townspeople regard the students as a nuisance rather than as bona-fide community members. —KenjiYamada
While I don't think it's the duty of the town to supply plentiful housing for students, I think too many people in the town ignore the University's contributions. In addition, the number of students admitted is largely determined by the UC Regents. The University will be growing, whether the citizens of Davis like it or not. The best thing they can do is control how that growth will be handled. I think too many people think they can stop the growth, when it is clear that they can't. —MattCzarnowski
Of course they can. Since when are legal mechanisms the only method for controlling population growth? All the city has to do is not allow any developers to build, creating a housing crunch, leaving UCD as the school that's "decent, but it's impossible to find a place to live! I'm going to Riverside instead!". —DomenicSantangelo
Well, the citizens of Davis can control new housing developments within their boundaries, but they certainly have very little say outside of those boundaries. UCD can build more housing on their own land. The county can approve housing just outside of the city limits (similar to the Mace Rance debacle). The fact is that more people will be going to school and working in Davis, and thus the effective population will be increasing, regardless of what the residents would like. —MattCzarnowski
This is all not the point. I am not anti-growth, I'm against building million dollar homes in a town where a lot of the workforce is already forced to commute from Woodland, Dixon, and Sacramento. The against is not full of old people that hate growth but engineers, architects, and city planners that see this as a strategical nightmare and a bad idea where responsibility and practicality is second to maximized profits. —ChristopherMcKenzie
That is EXACTLY the problem. So we have affordable student housing, like The Lexington, where apartments cost $1800/month. What about Allegre or any of the other new housing developments for the spendthrift low budget student. Davis is an unfettered orgy for real-estate developers. These proposed student housing developments are simply more dense (but nowhere close to dense enough) developments with the same ridiculous price range. I dunno if you come from a family that had a stable with wild horses and a 50 acre garden in their backyard, but most people can barely afford this stuff. It's not like there is an ocean or a lovely mountainside nearby. I guess that UC school means "free to rape" for any developer that comes by. 2 bedroom/2 bath in Woodland: ~$700 - Davis: ~$1050. Any questions? —ChristopherMckenzie
Uh, yeah, actually... why don't you move to Woodland? It's this free-market thing we call "supply and demand":
Find a place where lots of young people live off loans, grants, parents, and other "free money"
Build crappy housing and charge an arm and a leg for rent
Keep supply just under demand
While I, as a student who has to pay for overpriced housing, think it's messed up - even maybe a little immoral - to overcharge kids who are just trying to go to school, it's by no means unethical. And if I cared that much, I'd move to Woodland or West Sac. —DomenicSantangelo
It is by all means unethical. It's called extortion, profiteering, and maybe even racketeering. I don't think companies have a legal right to set up shop and start doing business here without first going through the City. Rarely, if ever, except in the case of selling alcohol to minors, is the priveledge of having a business ever revoked. And with the high turnover rates, shady institutions like Acadian Properties will have a fresh batch of suckers every year. Abusing the opportunity to do fair and honest business by ripping people off methodologically and repeatedly as much as possible and by backing away from assumed responsibilities is one of the worst possible offenses for a business and should be punished resulting in forced shutdown or relocation. —ChristopherMcKenzie
Which shifts the problem but doesn't solve anything. Price the housing high enough to force the students out of town and they'll end up either having to own cars (with an increase in traffic, pollution, helping drive gasoline prices up, and helping use up our limited supply of oil) or lean on public transport. Which means straining the public transportation systems until they build up. An increase in their use also means using more resources. Either way it's more cost and inconvenience for the students and a strain on one or more parts of the traffic infrustructure, to the benefit of some businesses but to everybody else's detriment. Not all costs can be counted in dollars. —JeffreyNonken
2005-07-17 02:21:13 If they DO go out full fledged with this Village, they better re-arrange their blueprints and dedicate a park to The Jagged Tree!! That park, if made cool enough and preserved the tree, could be on par with Slide Hill! —AndreHarris
It looks like this may actually happen. See The Jagged Tree.
I like historic artifacts, and I think a society should do what it can to preserve the best of what we do, but they should then bury the rest and build something new on top of the ruins. Lets save future acheology jobs. That way, you don't have to sprawl the settlements outward. Sure, there will always be people who want the wild wild west home in East, West, North (though shrinking), and South of Davis, but I bet a whole bunch of people would happily live in "high" rises downtown. If you are going to call yourself a city, act like one and build up. Leave the damn owls and farmers at peace. Wayne Schiller
2005-09-19 15:24:40 I'm a reporter for the Davis Enterprise doing a series of stories on Covell Village. If anyone who visits this page wants to buy a house in Davis, or is hoping Covell Village passes in November so they can buy a house there or has any thoughts at all on Covell Village that they'd like to share, please write to me at <cstjohn AT davisenterprise DOT net>. Is it okay to solicit here? Anyway, I'd like to have the voices of real residents in my articles, as well as City Council, etc. Thanks. —ClaireStJohn
2005-09-20 13:54:51 Outside of the overly-high prices, I think the biggest issue here is going to be traffic. There's no easy way to get on the 80 going West from that location. Either you take Covell west to the 113, or you take Pole Line south, and then double back on Richards. Either way, that's going to seriously impact the area traffic-wise. Me = voting no. —AlexPomeranz
2005-10-06 12:22:51 I had a pro-Covell Village door-to-door propagandaist drop by my house last night. He asked me if I was voting for or against Covell Village. I told him against. He asked why, and I bought up the traffic concerns. He tried to rebut, but really had nothing, so he left. I find it kind of sad that they've resorted to canvassing the streets. Someone obviously stands to make a lot of money (and it ain't me). —AlexPomeranz
Canvassing is a very common practice among many political groups and causes.
2005-10-06 14:26:19 Not sure where to integrate this right now: Approximately 180 units will be dedicated for low income (less than $48,000 a year) housing, as recently decided by the City Council. They will be "64 cooperative units, 63 municipal low-income units and 40 low-income apartments, all in central locations within the village." (Mike Corbett)
Another really interesting development is that the developers inked a deal to place a Trader Joe's in Covell Village if the project is approved. Pro-Covell Village individuals claim this is a great opportunity to get one of the most desired stores to come to town. Anti-Covell Village folks think that Davis could attract a Trader Joe's without Covell Village and cite evidence of Trader Joe's investigation into a Davis location that has existed for some time. Covell Village supporters respond that the unique location of Covell Village was most attractive to the Trader Joe's corporation. —PhilipNeustrom
2005-10-06 14:29:44 I've been hit twice by the Yes on X people. They have slick brochures and printed newspapers. Someone's going to make a lot of money if this passes, and it ain't us! For the residents, we get air pollution, traffic, more cars and fewer bikes (yes -more cars automatically means fewer bikes), higher sewer costs, etc. These people will not be university students, so this changes the 'character' of the town too. As far as "affordable", don't make me gag. How many of us could buy a home there? This whole thing is all about money for the developers, and nothing at all about what would actually benefit our community. Remember, it was the developers who proposed it -it's not as if we all got together and said "let's plow under that field and put apartments there" to make Davis a nicer place. —SteveDavison
2005-10-06 15:08:22 It's not really less bikes. I don't think they'll start taking and hiding peoples bikes. It's not necessarily that horrible for the town though - I mean, there’s more then just developers. Think of all the massive tax money that will be coming in, not just from the construction and possible new shops but from the influx in population - a whole lot could be done. It would also fare very well for most of the businesses in the town. I think I saw something about a school or two as well? It is growth and development yes, but there are positives in it too. It's inevitable that the city of Davis will change. Be it more students or more families moving here, you can't keep it as a small town with a farm school forevah. Some people think it's a little arrogant to spend four years here and then decide that is the best time and way to keep it. I work with people who graduated from UCD in the 60's, and they can't believe how much the town has changed. I don't think the term suburban wasteland need necessarily apply either. If it's well planned, it can work. You can keep it well spaced, keep parks and green space without being forcibly obvious and surrounded by roads. I think Danville in the east bay area is a good example of that. Or the newer parts of San Ramon in the hills. The problem for that stuff comes down to how most of core Davis wasn't well planned for much growth. Hence stuff like the crappy intersection. The point of it isn't affordable housing for college students either. I see a lot of houses being completely remodeled and rennovated around town. I'm sure that's also pretty expensive, but there are people who can/do shell out the money for a bigger or newer house (instead of one built anywhere from 10 to 50 years ago). Maybe some people just want a more "respectable" neighborhood away from places students can rent, something nice and new in a great place like Davis. Or people working in Sac who just love Davis, but can afford bigger/(potentially) nicer houses. I don't think the prices are absolutely crazy outrageous for Davis though. Especially for families wanting to come in from more expensive places. Likewise, I may not like the prices I have to pay for an apartment here, but I damn sure appreciate it once I visit friends at UCLA and see what they have to pay. But ever go out on Mace to the Country Club? Driven through it? There are tons of homes in the millions. Really nice ones too. I saw just a single one of them on a listing downtown for 1.75 million. 1.75 million. And it wasn't even for the biggest and newest of those. I don't know enough about the entire issue, but just wanted to throw out way too many quick observations/comments from glancing at everyone elses. -ES
2005-10-06 15:52:38 "sad that they've resorted to canvassing the streets" and "hit twice by the Yes on X people"? I would be so glad if that's how poliitical campaigns were generally run. An effective canvassing operation requires lots of people who believe in something enough to make an effective argument for it - so it's a much less money-biased way for campaigns to be run. (Yes someone could hire lots of people to canvass, but they won't be effective.) A democracy works on the free exchange of ideas, and this doesn't only mean letting people say what they want - it also means citizens need to listen fairly to those they might disagree with. I know Davis is far too big for this, but i would feel sooo much more comfortable if this was decided in a town meeting where people would feel a small amount of shame about voting without having heard a good chunk of the debate, and maybe some attempts at compromise to be made, and the whole thing could be tabled for a few months for more discussions if there was a lot of disagreement. This comment should not be construed as an argument for or against the measure, but merely as an observation about how we think about our democracy. —AlexanderWoo
2005-10-09 08:37:50 Now that I've had time to look more deeply into this project my feelings have changed. The arguments which are being talked about aren't the important ones, just the knee-jerk emotional ones. Many things are beyond the developer's control, such as "affordability". No matter who does what, they're still going to be 'unaffordable' because they hit market rate which in Davis is 'unaffordable'. We all want something for nothing, but alas... So the real question is what's good for the community -and what are our options. 1. Leave it as farm land (but for how long?), 2. Split it into individual lots and sell individually for people to build homes on, 3. Have a planned development -and what type (Village Homes or Mace Ranch)? Davis is growing 1.8% (or such) per year, regardless. If that is the case, then the issue becomes what kind of growth -planned or unplanned (as a division). People don't buy lots and build their own houses like in the old days, so that is probably unrealistic. Looking at the plans and talking with Mike directly I've decided that it really is as good as one can get for a planned development. I was fascinated to hear that Village Homes had 'enormous' opposition to its creation too. Now I believe that if this fails, there will just be more 'stupid structures' instead and a great opportunity will have been lost. Mike said something like 'if this fails, I'm going somewhere people will actually appreciate my work'. Now I believe the choice isn't between growth or no-growth, but between a 'green' type division and a 'concrete' type division. "It's become about 'winning', not about what's best for Davis" —SteveDavison
2005-10-09 21:21:42 What is missing from the comments of opponents of Covell Village is a rational alternative. While many of the negatives that they point out — such as traffic problems, pollution, etc — have merit, they really don't offer a better choice. After all, Covell Village looks like an extremely nice neighborhood to live in. It has more open space and more ammenities than any other neighborhood in town. And Davis is going to grow over the next decade — we have an agreement with SACOG that we will grow by 250 houses a year, which is 70 more units a year than Covell Village adds. So the question that must be asked of opponents is this: if not in Covell Village, where do you propose adding the 1,864 units that will be built, plus the other 636 houses we have agreed to? And what will the development of the houses and neighborhoods you propose cause in terms of traffic and so on? It is mindless to just think that the rejection of Covell Village will mean that Davis will not grow any more. —RichRifkin
It's not a matter of making Davis not grow. It's a matter of making it grow as the "City of Davis" and not as "The Wealthy Suburb of Sacramento". That is the traffic problem. The workers of Davis living in Sacramento because Sacramento is affordable and the workers of Sacramento living in Davis because Davis is upscale. So every day people do a city switch to work. That is a direct product of bad and irresponsible planning. The people that are no on X are not "no on new homes" or a bunch of environmentalists that want to save the tree squirrel. They are, once again, people that don't think a sequel to Mace Ranch is a bright idea at this time.
I disagree. The people who I have talked to (and my wife was very involved with the "no on covell village" stuff earlier this year, are anti any sort of growth, except infill development, which they also oppose if it is near existing development. (i.e., they are opposed to development of any kind that is not one home at a time) — rocksanddirt
2005-10-10 09:25:12 TCO of Solar Power is more than double that of coal or nuclear, and as such, it is in several ways worse to use solar than to pull power from the grid. —KennethWaters
2005-10-10 09:36:36 Does anyone have a copy of the Eviromental Impact Report? —KennethWaters
2005-10-10 12:09:01 As a future neighbor of Covell Village (live across pole line from it), I would consider voting no if it were possible to build infill development in Davis without Lawsuits. People say Trader Joes will come, I disagree unless they are in a new devleopment. There is no exisiting space in Davis suitable for them. —RocksandDirt
2005-10-10 12:45:00 "where do you propose adding the 1,864 units that will be built, plus the other 636 houses we have agreed to?" Knee-jerk response, without much thought except some calculation as to how to get to 2000 units: raise downtown (meaning say between C and H and 1st and 5th) to a uniform height of 7 stories, and a few neighboring blocks by a couple of stories (keeping the parks). Negate the traffic problems by putting a deed restriction against registering a car at the address. Put in better public transportation (which can come close to paying for itself from fares) around Davis and also to Sacramento and the Bay Area for these people to use. —AlexanderWoo
2005-10-10 23:36:58 Alexander, your solution would do what I asked. However, there are a number of problems with it. First, the area of downtown that you suggest should be 7 stories is owned by (I'm guessing) hundreds of separate people. I can't imagine that there would be any public support for condemning those properties or taking them through eminent domain. And so you would just have to wait — perhaps 30 years or more — until they were for sale. And while most remained one-story buildings, the remaining residents would likely object to living next to a 7 story building. I think it might be possible to do what you say on a block that has only one owner, if you limit the new buildings to say 4 stories. But politically, I think your idea would be quite unpopular. And second, it might not provide the kind of housing that people in Davis really want to live in. If so, it would also be uneconomical. —RichRifkin
I agree my idea is unlikely to work, even if I overestimated the current height of downtown and only 5 stories are needed. It really does have to be done something like all at once, because the public transportation won't work without having that many people living close to each other. If the zoning allowed for it, a developer could probably get it done by offering slightly above market prices to buy out most of a block, and threatening hold-outs with having a five story building next to them. This would be politically impossible and economically questionable though. Sadly, I think most Davis residents would prefer two new Covell Villages over a 5 or 7 story downtown, even though the 5 story downtown would be much better for maintaining town identity, not to mention how much it would help small local businesses. This doesn't mean Covell Village will pass - since people can always hope that neither will happen. —AlexanderWoo
2005-10-10 23:38:03 By the way... I am new to this site. How do I make my comments appear as a response to a specific poster? —RichRifkin
Edit the page by pressing "Edit" up at the top. Just pressing edit and copying what the other people do works, too.
Thanks. I think I've got this figured out. —RichRifkin
2005-10-12 04:39:55 There has been an ad circulating around this week that's clearly student-targeted. It states that "If you want to live in a cutting edge, solar-powered neighborhood with new entertainment options and affordable housing for students, then Covell Village is for you." The design of the advertisement is clearly geared toward students, as well. The back lists, among other items, "Affordable Housing" and under that it states that "Covell Village will be the only place in Davis where students can qualify for affordable housing." What is going on here? Covell Village is not intended to be student housing, as far as I know, and all debate on the project has centered around other topics. I think they are using the phrase "affordable housing" in a technical sense, in that you get tax breaks, etc? What do they mean it's the only place students can qualify? Do they mean it's the only place where students can get some slack if they want to purchase a home? Can someone please elaborate on what they mean by affordable housing for students? (Buying a house is never an affordable option for a student unless they have a parent willing to throw in and buy it then rent it out once they're gone, etc). —PhilipNeustrom
Basically, students can't apply for section 8 housing (housing for people with low incomes). Covell Village includes houses as well as townhouses and apartments. So CV would pretty much just be offering section 8 rates to students that qualified without actually being official section 8 housing. —JennySoares
2005-10-12 12:28:59 Covell Village is going to be built immediately adjacent to the old Yolo County landfill. When that thing lets off gas, it smells like death. —NikolaiBraun
That's not likely from the old landfill, but rather from the protected open space drainage area adjacent to the landfill and adjacent to the proposed development. —RocksandDirt
Are you suggesting that I’m confusing swamp gas with the stench of death? The ponds up there dry out in the summer. There shouldn’t be significant swamp gas production in season pools such as those if the bottom can oxidize on a yearly basis. Go hang out up there and chase bunnys around or count owls for an afternoon. You may experience the odor I’m referring to. You may not. I don’t smell it every time I’m out there. When I do, I have to leave. —NikolaiBraun
2005-10-13 10:28:59 Trader Joe's has made it clear that they did not want to move in to any of Davis' vacant spaces, but they were already in discussions with two new shopping areas about coming.
Alhambra Center which has not been approved yet: http://www.cityofdavis.org/ed/projects/view.cfm?project=7D77E894-E2C9-4AD3-B7C71236AA56771F
And the Interland project which has been approved and is nearing the construction phase. http://www.cityofdavis.org/ed/projects/view.cfm?project=1B295616-FC73-47C4-BABCF816468E6187&tab=3
Covell Village just went in an gave them a deal they could not refuse. Trader Joe's has said previously that the 8th street vacant space was too far from the freeway, yet Covell is even further. It just shows how desperate the Covell Village people are to entice votes. If they had confidence in their project they would not need to 'sweeten the pot' to buy more votes... —BrianSolecki
2005-10-13 21:22:59 You know why I'm against Covell Village? I love Davis. I want to live here forever, but I doubt I'll ever be able to afford to buy a home here. I resent that the new homes always have to be rediculously expensive and I resent that the only people that will be able to afford them are people commuting to Sacramento. —AnnaJones
2005-10-14 12:25:54 Hi Ya'll. Just wanted to make sure people know that the chart above is NOT correct in terms of housing prices. It was created by the No on X people. This project was innovatively designed to avoid sprawl like we are seeing elsewhere. Thus, many of the units are high-density townhomes that are really unique and cool, placed on wildlife habitat with great views, etc. They are the kind of high-density low-cost housing that I would love to live in! It's funny, in this campaign, it is the No side that is manipulating so many of the numbers. They say the average house will be 700k, but for some reason they took out all affordable housing for people who make less than $40K/year make in their figures. They also used future calculations assuming 5%/year appreciation. Ten years ago, $300K for an average house would have sounded ridiculously high, so why are they using future figures? That is the kind of thing that makes me wonder: if NO on X people are so sure of their stance, why manipulate people so much?
Affordable housing in Covell will start at $198K (144 townhomes for families, seniors and individuals starting at $198K and averaging about $267K) Only 52% of the housing in Covell Village has no restriction on price. I'm working on getting the chart above taken off this site, and there will probably be something in the Enterprise soon about this bc No on X is using it at their tables around town. —DavidFisher
Is the fact that these high-density townhomes are being "placed on wildlife habitat" supposed to make us feel better about this development? *boggle* —AlexPomeranz
If the above chart is incorrect then someone should make a new table that contains housing price information (TravisGrathwell tried to find out where the above stats came from and was unsuccessful). The information should be as accurate as possible, including the general information approved by the by the City Council as well as what the current developer's figures are for house prices. There is merit in including figures on what Davis residents can afford. After all, much of the debate is surrounding affordability. The only question is how to calculate it. Someone should check the reports on house affordability and adjust them for when the homes will be available, up to inflation, etc. In fact, this page should probably have an entire "Prices" section because the issue is tricky to approach. It would take a bit of time, but it's definitely worth it!
I have posted above the info upon which the table is based. The 2005 prices, buildout schedule, and assumption about house price appreciation are all taken directly from the City's fiscal analysis, and the assumption that first homes are sold in 2008 is taken from a statement by Ted Puntillo at City Council during the vote on the project in June.
To be explicit, here's the spreadsheet:
A thumbnail or caption may be displayed only once per image.
If house prices don't continue to grow at 5% a year, the fiscal analysis shows that the City will lose millions of dollars.
2005-10-14 12:49:34 The affordable/unaffordable debate is a red herring. No, they won't be affordable. But then NO HOMES there will be. If one instead thinks, "If I could design it, what would it be like?" Then you may conclude that it really is quite good as designed. What would make it better, really? —SteveDavison
2005-10-14 19:32:16 Well, it's not the "Davis ideal", but I have to say that the plans for Covell Village are impressive. They are far more thoughful and interesting than what you see in the quickly-developing urban sprawl to the east and south of Sacramento. Is it ideal for Davis? Well, I think the debate about impact on resources is somewhat askew since infill housing will be built which would cause similar stresses on existing infrastructure. Some people are concerned about the traffic impact, but I think it might have an interesting effect of causing less of a traffic impact on Downtown as this housing would be convenient to new business developements near South Davis. (Most people are worried about downtown it seems.) Anyway, it's a close call, but I think Measure X is a winner in the long haul. —JaimeRaba
2005-10-14 19:55:32 A family living in Covell village needs a car, and that already makes it unaffordable to a lot of people. Let's face it - the only ways to make affordable housing around here are (a) build housing so crappy no one wants to live there or (b) add a million (i'm exaggerating less than you think) units between Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Anything else will either see (a) homes become unaffordable on resale or (b) corruption running the sale of below-market units or (c) homes and neighborhoods degrade as people decide not to invest in them. You have to make the market work for society, not fight it. FYI, i prefer the million units approach, with taxpayer subsidized construction if necessary. —AlexanderWoo
Why exactly would a family in Covell Village need a car? While the far side of the development would be beyond easy walking distance to central Davis, and not particularly near any existing bus service, this isn't the case for the low income areas - Unitrans and Yolobus run within a few blocks. Having lived carless a few blocks south of the proposed site and way out in South Davis, I fail to see how it would be a problem. —JessicaLuedtke
Sorry - i meant (and should have written) a family with children. I could live there without a car pretty easily myself too, but knowing people with small children, i can see how extremely difficult it would be for them. —AlexanderWoo
I have a small child myself :) Only one child, and old enough to ride in a bike trailer, but given that there will be schools, shopping, and public transportation nearby, I really don't see how the situation would be worse than anywhere else in Davis. Heck, we live right downtown, and it's still a 5 block walk to yolobus and 10 blocks to the closest grocery store. —JessicaLuedtke
2005-10-15 10:35:43 I think Covell Village is going to provide "upgrade housing" for small families — normally with at least one professional, or perhaps dual-incomes. I have a suspicion that people will move—for example—from Central Davis, and into Covell Village. This will free up less expensive housing options for those who need it. Honestly, as unaffordable as houses are said to be in Davis, they're really spread across the spectrum. However, there's limited availability so there's not much room for movement. This should at least cause some of that to happen. —JaimeRaba
2005-10-19 17:35:09 Yeah, because i want MORE annoying yuppie families living in my town...GREAT! —TheRadish
2005-10-20 07:56:19 My completely unofficial and insignifcant poll/observation of homes on my walk to work this morning yielded 12 "No-on-X" Lawn signs and two "Yes-on-X" lawn signs. —BrianSolecki
On Pole Line, from 8th street to Covell, the "No-on-X" signs way outnumber the "Yes-on-X" signs (probably by a margin of 5:1 or so). —AlexPomeranz
I am a supporter of Measure X. I even wrote an Enterprise columnn in favor of it. However, by my count, having now seen and counted more than 200 lawn signs, the No side is winning that battle by better than 5:2. I think that differential is not a good barometer of how the vote will turn out. It will probably be very close to 50:50. But it does suggest that there is more passion on the No on X side of the debate. —RichRifkin
2005-10-20 11:51:10 I know it sounds like pie in the sky, but light rail is an awesome idea. And if it could somehow connect with Sacramento's rail... —JaimeRaba
2005-10-20 16:30:55 I dunno, they cluster. In my view, the yes signs far outnumber the "no" signs. And there's been some commentary about these signs appearing in public spaces in apartment complexes. —JaimeRaba
2005-10-22 15:07:22 Survey of 153 houses: 94 No | 59 Yes. See Map. Survey of 153 houses in Central Davis —DylanBeaudette
Comments re: the Yolo County Supervisors plans to approve the Guidaro Development and three Yolo County Supervisors assurances there are no plans to approve development per the "Pass Through Agreement:
* Actually, I'm pretty sure that you're wrong on this one... The County CAN vote in development outside the borders. The County can unilaterally void the "Pass through Agreement" by giving up the million or so bucks it receives from the City- chump change compared to how much they'd get from development taxes. In order to receive grant money from larger government entities, Davis must grow at a .9% rate per year, something they wouldn't be doing without a development such as Covell Village or the other proposed Mace Curve. TL
The county might be able to approve development outside the borders, but who is to say they won't do this if Covell Village is built? If they were really after development taxes independent of Davis, they could approve all sorts of developments right on the borders of Davis, even if Covell Village was built. The only reason Covell Village's existence would make their unilateral approval of development less likely is because it satisfies our growth requirement. If we found other ways to grow, it would be just as well fulfilled. Also, while Covell Village meets the growth rate, there are possible alternatives aside from large developments that annex land (and I'm sure you can think of some).
Indeed I could, but Covell Village is actually too small to meet the growth rate, leaving enough room outside of it to handle other projects. The County has witheld approval of Mace Curve development until after Nov 8 too see if Covell Village passes.
Note: The following comment I believe can defined as hate speech and has little value to the voters who are trying to sort out this issue. It was removed once, because after weighing the comment against defined wiki ethics, it was deemed to violate multiple points, but the writer has posted it again after calling the person who removed it a derogatory and offensive name. I will leave it up for now to see if there is consensus on removing it. Note to the Davis wiki community: If you want a wide variety of contributors, this kind of hateful communication shouldn't be a part of the Davis wiki. There is a more mature ways of communicating the same idea. Anyway, here it is:
2005-10-23 18:28:07 The only people opposing this are the fatcats who don't want their already bloated bubble homes to lose value. Screw them. And screw the hippies who have been unwittingly recruited to their cause. —ApolloStumpy
2005-10-26 09:38:42 Here is a link to Gerald Heffernon's column in the Davis Enterprise on Oct. 25: Jerry's column. This is about as incisive and unemotional anti-Covell Village argument that I've heard. —PaulThober
2005-10-29 18:12:33 Sort of an interesting article at http://www.californiaaggie.com/article/?id=11171 -it suggests that the battle isn't Covell Developers vs. Citizens, but rather, Covell Developers vs. Mace Ranch Developers. This suggests a corporate No-on-X motive. —SteveDavison
2005-10-29 19:19:07 And gee, that's exactly what I was saying and then my comment got deleted. Oh, so has the Sierra Club given any good non kneejerk reasons to oppose X given that it meets its own guidelines? —ApolloStumpy
2005-10-30 10:15:50 OK, so our Pro section says this: Covell Village meets the Sierra Clubs own smart growth guidelines. The Sierra Club site says: Covell Village, though touted to be smart growth, is anything but. So which is it? —ApolloStumpy
2005-10-30 10:34:06 Sierra Club saying "This is Not Smart Growth" Per their ad in today's Enterprise "The site is not within the City of Davis, contains valuable agricultural land and open space, and with homes not affordable to most Davis workers and residents, will result in more commuter traffic and attendant impacts. Nearly half the project lies in the 100-year flood plain." I don't know exactly what the smart growth guidlines are that the pro- side is referring to and they don't really say what they are either. I just know what the Sierra Club states over and over again - on their website, in letters to the editor, ads in the newspaper, press releases, etc. Another thing their ad states is that they think that this site should be included in the next General Plan process after the impacts of Woodland's Spring Lake development and the UCD housing develpment are known. —SharlaDaly
2005-10-31 10:38:59 Do people realize that one of the key people involved in the Sierra Club owns a big piece of land that he wants to develop on the border of West Davis. It probably won't happen for 17 years if Covell passes. In addition, the whole "flood plain" thing is manipulation. After grading, the project will be completely protected. Much of the City of Davis was on flood plain too. By the way, there is a letter going out from Sierra Club MEMBERS who do not agree with their board. —SamToomey
Breaking news! The Yes on Measure X members were caught red-handed giving out "Free slice of Pizza for your vote!" at the UCD polling station on Thursday, Oct. 31. During the investigation following, it was determined that an active Yes on Measure X campaign team member had wormed his way in as a "judge" for the polling station. County Clerk, Freddie Oakley, shut the illegal activity down and removed the "judge." It's time to vote, folks. —SharlaDaly
Couldn't the kids just take the coupon, say they were going to vote yes and vote whatever way? I think to much is being made of the pizza coupons. It sounds like the free hotdogs at used car dealers, just a way to get someone to listen to your views. That said, there seems to be other shadiness going on from both the yes's and the no's. r&d
If I had known there'd be free pizza coupons, I would have definitly stood in line and nodded my head yes just for some lunch. People have been doing that since elementary school (candy, cupcakes, etc), but I'm never really sure if it actually bought votes back then, much less with college kids now. -ES
Woah there, cowboy. You didn't have to agree to vote "Yes" to get pizza, you just had to vote. Pizza for yes votes would be all kinds of illegal. - arlen
Actually, it's somewhat gray, as they were promoting "Yes" votes while giving people coupons "to vote." It's not like registering people to vote even matters at this point. Freddie Oakley said she would take them to court if they didn't stop.
2005-11-01 15:48:00 Last afternoon, around 4:30pm there was a woman holding a sign at the intersection of Covell and Pole Line telling people to vote no on X due to traffic concerns (I think it mentioned something like 20 million cars). Another woman (or possibly the same one?) was there again this morning at 7:30ish holding the same sign. —AlexPomeranz
People have been out on Pole Line and Covell with signs for almost a week. Several signs claim an additional 22,000 trips by car on Pole Line daily. While this may be true, it seems like an awful lot for the number of units that are going to be built in Covell Village. MC
The traffic figures used by the no on X people are the "worst case" put forth in the EIR prepared for the project. It assumes that there are multiple trips by multiple members of each household each day. The reality of course is that there will be less then the worst case, but that traffic will get worse thoroughout town as this project is implemented. rocksanddirt
There are things I don't like about CV, and I certainly haven't decided to vote for it, but I wish the people who knock it for not including enough 'affordable' housing would be more specific about what they want. Housing in Davis is ridiculously priced already. Do you know how hard it is to find a stand-alone house for less than $400k? A halfplex under $350k? How do these people want the new housing to be made affordable? Should there be more condos? More apartments? Smaller houses? Rent control? Simply claiming that things aren't 'affordable' isn't a valid criticism when prices are already this high.—MattCzarnowski
I agree. If you criticize Covell Village beging unaffordable, what alternatives do we have to provide more affordable housing than the proposed development? I make $70-90k/yr, my wife can't work, we don't qualify for affordable housing program that Davis offers, and the current market is way too expensive for our income range. CV at least offers some units that we can afford and that is certainly better than nothing. I also wonder how many people crying that CV is unaffordable actually are in the market to buy their first homes... —WilliamJones
2005-11-01 17:57:53 I find the Yes on X campus advertising blitz the be a little repulsive. While I'm likely to vote yes, I don't need, nor want free pizza or sexual advertising. Campus is covered with attractive students who are being payed to promote the Covell project. The girls with the pink "Divas for Covell Village" shirts really turn me off. —JackHaskel
2005-11-01 20:42:18 I think the pro-X marketing to students is just insulting. Anybody who looks into the matter can see that Covell Village isn't "good for students" and isn't meant to be. In the first place, STUDENTS DON'T HAVE MONEY TO BUY HOUSES. So all the on-campus skullduggery and the flyers (two of which were left at my own front door in Casitas Apts.) are pretty much straigh up dishonesty. —KenjiYamada
2005-11-01 21:19:33 Has anyone else taken the time to look at the campaign disclosures that Steve McMahon posted a link to? Covell Village Partners had spent $111,000 on the campaign. Today (11/1/2005) they disclosed that they have put another $100,000 in the campaign pot. Be prepared for an onslaught of advertising. Capital Campaigns has had job postings on craigslist for months looking for campaign workers in Davis and paying them $10 plus an hour. Their only current client in Davis is Covell Village Partners. Ask these girls who are wearing the shirts if they are registered to vote in Yolo County and how much they are being paid to be walking advertisements. —SharlaDaly
$20/hour is the figure I heard for the people on campus.
2005-11-01 21:28:32 $20/hour...wow...that's more than most UCD administrative staff make. Isn't this the same as buying votes? I wonder how many more people $100,000 can "hire" for the next weeK? —SharlaDaly
2005-11-03 06:26:43 I had a friend who got paid $50/hr to hawk Ax body spray at an event, so I don't think $20 is a big deal, since housing is more important than good smell (usually) —ApolloStumpy
2005-11-02 05:51:34 Because I've been called up by the Yes-on-X folks, and I read they are virtually trading pizza for votes, I've decided to vote no, despite the two buck chuck that I will never get to enjoy because it won't be here in time to affect me. —KarlMogel
2005-11-04 09:07:53 Did anyone else receive this completely insulting "Are you a tool or what?" postcard from the No on X people? It implies that I would vote "yes" only because I was told to by "the same guys who own half the apartment complexes in Davis". Actually, I am an intellegent adult who has read up on the issue and formed my own opinion, thank you. And "half the apartment complexes in Davis"??? I was not aware that there were only 26 apartment complexes in all of Davis. Tandem only owns 13 complexes in Davis, hardly half. I also like that the message ends with "fyi-the Cal Aggie says Vote No on X". Does that make me the Aggie's "tool" if I vote no? Thanks No on X for calling me a tool. I really appreciate it! —PeterMarleau
2005-11-07 13:31:52 Well, now that both sides have engaged in rather questionable advertising practices, I guess I can make a value judgement. The "No on X" campaign listed CalPIRG as an opponent of Prop 73, which, personal opinions aside, is just not true. They never took a position on this. It's just not their bag of bananas.
I don't get that both sides have engaged in questionable advertising practices. One side, Yes on X, ran an ad for two days in the Davis Enterprise personally attacking and defaming Stan Forbes and Mike Harrington. This was soundly and widely condemned by many, many people in the community, including the Editor of the Davis Enterprise (see Sunday's paper). Yes on X had automated phone calls going to people's cell phone which is illegal. Yes on X ran an ad that implied that County Supervisor, Mariko Yamada was endorsing Measure X. She had to spend time and money to send out a correction. Yes on X folks manned the UCD polling station with not one, but two campaign workers and distributed gift certificates at the polling before Freddie Oakley shut it all down and removed the campaign workers. The No on X campaign has run clean ads that has focused on the issues. In response to complaints that an alternative to Covell Village was not being offered by the opposition, Sue Greenwald fundraised and ran her own ad presenting a sample of what another community was doing and suggested that we could do better. Now the Yes on X campaign is saying that she is promoting getting a Los Angeles developer to come to town. There is lots of twisting and spinning going on. Lastly, I don't know what Prop 73 has to do with Measure X. Can you elaborate?
No on X put out a circular listing organizations that shared their views on various propositions. It was questionable because they listed, without permission, an organization that has never and will never take a stance on said proposition. Sorry if this wasn't clear.
Any idea where this sample of an alternative to Covell Village can be found? I'd like to see it, as most of the people opposed to X seem to be opposed to almost any annexation of new land. -MC
Here is a link to the comparison of Livermore Trails vs. Covell Village: http://www.citizenplanning.org/documents/something_better.pdf
2005-12-12 18:47:25 I don't think some of you understand what the supply and demand curve. As students worried about housing, you should be praising the creators of CV. And increase in housing supply leads to a decrease in demand. Thus, even though the housing in CV may be too expensive, the market will correct itself. The problem with Davis and the housing here is that the vacancy rate is so much smaller than any other city. Woodland has a higher rate, thus they cannot charge as much for housing, because they are desperate to get people into their apartments. If there was more housing in Davis (regardless of price) the vacancy rate would increase and apartment complexes would be desperate to have spots filled. That's why this year more than any other complexes were giving away free rent or an xbox or some incentive. Vacancy rates have been increasing; CV would have done a lot for housing in Davis. Regardless of whether you ended up there or not, the rates for every other complex would go down in order to compete. Also, those of you complaing about them advertising to students when students won't even be able to afford homes there, perhaps you should read the plans. They are also building many apartments and cooperative housing. That sounds like housing perfect for students if you ask me. And personally, I'd love to live within a few blocks of a Trader Joe's. —JennySoares